There will be occasions when you disagree with assessments and other decisions made by HMRC. If you don’t agree with a particular decision, you can write to the officer who made the decision and ask for it to be reviewed. You also have the opportunity to appeal to a tribunal.
If a decision has been made against your VAT, the process will be slightly different to that of direct taxes. However, if you have received a notice from HMRC requesting further documentation or information, you must follow the process for appealing against direct taxes. A decision may include being asked to complete monthly VAT returns, pay a security or compulsory deregistration.
Review of VAT decision
When a VAT decision is issued to you, it will include information about how to appeal or ask for an independent review. You can ask the decision maker for a review, which must be carried out by an officer who is completely independent of the decision that has been made. This has to be requested within 30 days of the decision being issued; if you request a review after that period has passed, HMRC will conduct the review as long as you have a reasonable excuse for not accepting the offer within the time frame.
When you accept the offer of an independent review, you can include details of why you believe the VAT decision is incorrect. A review will then be completed within 45 days, and the reviewing officer will notify you of their decision immediately. An extension of time can be requested by you or HMRC, but both parties have to agree to this.
Disagreeing with the review conclusion
Once the review conclusion has been received, you can appeal to the tribunal if you don’t agree with the outcome. This must be done within 30 days of receiving the conclusion letter. If you don’t appeal to the tribunal within this time, HMRC will assume that you agree with the outcome of the review.
When making an appeal to the tribunal, contact can be made either in writing or by completing an appeal form, which can be found on HMRC’s website. You must wait for the review to be completed, and once you have appealed to tribunal, you can’t request an independent review.
VAT is a complex tax and professional advice may be needed if you disagree with a decision.
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